- Vehicle ownership by individuals will be so rare that people will need to visit theme parks for the “experience” of driving a car.
- People will be able to summon autonomous vehicles on demand for travel anywhere on the planet.
- Autonomous vehicles will be everywhere on land, on sea, in the air and underground – none will require drivers or operators. (For example, drone taxis will fill the skies.)
- Travel times will be significantly reduced as speed limits increase and high-speed transportation dominates. Very high-speed travel will be common via Hyperloop, supersonic aircraft or high-speed rail.
- The physical infrastructure for travel will be substantially different: no signs, no traffic controls and no fuel stations. The whole system of roadways will be transformed, with no need for median strips, lane markers, etc.
- All land-based vehicles will be powered by electricity and recharged directly from the road surface.
- The urban/suburban balance will change once again, with a concentration of individuals in mega-smart cities combined with new forms of living spaces and communities in rural/satellite areas. (Think about what could be done with all the garage space in residences when individuals do not own cars.)
- Vehicles of all types will be real-time, information-rich machines with augmented reality, virtual reality and instant access to information/entertainment content.
- Vehicular accidents will be virtually eliminated, but, when accidents do occur, they will be mega-accidents. (Imagine a software glitch or a freeway hack that causes pileups of hundreds of vehicles.)
- The variety of vehicles for transporting both people and goods will be astonishing, ranging from individual travel pods to gigantic vehicles transporting thousands of people at a time.
Musings on the Future of Driverless Vehicles
What might a future world look like where all transportation is via autonomous vehicles? Here are 10 possibilities.